But what of the defending, no wait, two-time defending champs? Angelino’s hadn’t even began to disburse along Figueroa Street before ESPN scribes were penciling in the Heat to play whomever came out atop the Western Conference in the 2011 NBA Finals. With all the attention focused on the Promised Land, the place where LeBron would “take his talents to,” the Lakers were placed on the back-burner. Never had a post-championship-Lakers squad gone so far under the radar.
Kobe Bryant recently told ESPN’s Michael Wilbon that he wasn’t bothered by the accolades bestowed upon the Heat or that they were garnering all the attention.
“I don’t play the game for attention…that’s not a motivating thing,” said Bryant. “It’s winning it, that’s motivation for me. It’s not all the hoop-la that comes before winning it. That doesn’t drive me at all.”
Wilt Chamberlain once said, “Nobody loves Goliath.” It’s well documented that Chamberlain never had problems finding love and for the most part, the public sentiment for James leading up to “The Decision,” had been pleasant. It only took 60 minutes for that to change. The big three’s decision to play together under one roof made them go from hero to zero. That is at least outside of South Beach.